52 WEST by Ann Pinchot


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A haunting story which has somehow captured two motives:- the passing of old dreams with the changing face of New York's mid-Fifties; and the cynical undercurrent suggested by the sub-title, A Novel of Success in Our Times. The Wild Ones, as they had called themselves back in the hungry early thirties, when Miss Ludington, leading a precarious existence herself in a brownstone on West 52nd, gathered them under her wings, come back for a reunion, each with an outward semblance of success. There's Rod, a big advertising man (still nostalgic for the days when photography was his dream)- and Adrienne, his wife, an alcoholic, insecure and trying to cling to his devotion; there's Colin, a playwright, who cannot seem to find success in New York- widely acclaimed abroad; there's Mimi, sensationally successful as a late comer in Hollywood- and fed up with its falseness. Mimi whom both Rod and Colin love, whom Adrienne fears- and who loves only Rod; there's Juanita, a night club singer, who can't stay away from drugs --and there is Miss Ludington, penniless, gallant in her way, refusing to face eviction the next day. It is a night of tensions -- memories- betrayals- corruption- and at the last, hope built on shattered lives, lives generally considered ""successful"". Much the best work Ann Pinchot has done though many will find it distasteful.

Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Cudahy